Eating Disorders

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Too Thin: The Media’s Influence
Recent studies paint a disturbing picture of girls as young as five taking drastic measure to achieve their ideal body image that are warped by the images of rail-thin models, underweight celebrities and photo shopped pictures of unattainable bodies in the media. Other studies have shown that the number of people with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa have risen in the past few years and this increase can be connected to the way the media depicts women and even men. Eating disorders are dangerous illnesses that have damaging effects on the mental and physical health of the person suffering from it. Because the media has convenient access to many insecure women, men, teens and even children who are easily drawn into the make-believe world of perfection that it has made convincing to many, restrictions should be placed on what and who the media is permitted to show – not only for the health of the viewers, but also for those on the other side of the screen.

In today's society people are constantly being bombarded with images of women and men who are thought to be beautiful, advertisements promoting products promising dramatic weight loss, and criticizing comments directed towards famous figures who have gained weight. As a result, people feel compelled to lose weight to fit into society's detrimental image of beauty based on the extremely thin bodies of models and celebrities. The British Medical Association published a report revealing “the link between images of 'abnormally thin' models in television and fashion magazines and an increase in the prevalence of eating disorders” (ProQuest Staff). Also in 2007, a 5-year study was published in the journal Pediatrics reporting “that decreases in magazine reading over 16 months were associated with decreases in eating disordered symptoms, suggesting that media use is related to unhealthy eating behaviors” (van den Berg, Hannan, Haines, Neumark-Sztainer)....
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